LG Optimus L9 Review

While top Korean manufacturer Samsung has been making waves with its Android lineup both on retail shelves and in court, Korean #2 LG has quietly begun to make a name for itself with its Optimus lineup. With pioneering devices like the Optimus 2X, Optimus 3D and Optimus One, LG has shown that they are not afraid to push the limits of technology. This has of course culminated with LG being picked to design the Nexus 4 (based off of their excellent Optimus G,) but lost in the talk of quad-core processors and high definition displays is the launch of the Optimus L9 on T-Mobile. While it is not top-of the line, it has many great features you’d expect from a premium device such as a 4.5” IPS display and dual-core processor. With the Nexus 4 coming to T-Mobile on contract does the Optimus L9 have a place in the lineup? Read on to find out!


LG has been finding their design language over the past year, and the L9 builds on the angular, minimalist designs we’ve seen LG put out. The large 4.5” IPS display dominates, but there is also a slim physical home button below. Hidden capacitive back and menu keys flank the home button. The volume rocker and side power button are a bit smaller than we’d prefer and could be easier to find by touch. They don’t offer much travel or tactile feedback, but seem to work well enough.

You can compare the LG Optimus L9 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

With tapered edges, a textured, soft-touch back and measuring only 9.1mm thin the Optimus L9 is very comfortable to hold. That battery door is removable, giving access to the 2150mAh battery, SIM card and microSD slot. A quality plastic housing means that the L9 is light, but doesn’t feel cheap. Overall we appreciate the L9’s design, which may not evoke the same response as a premium device like the Optimus G, but does not feel like a budget model in any way.


The IPS display has a 540x960 qHD resolution, which makes for a respectable 245 ppi density. LG has made a name for themselves with excellent displays recently, and the L9 is no different. While it does not have the highest resolution, the IPS technology makes for very bright and vibrant displays with superb viewing angles. We had no issues using the phone in any lighting condition, and clarity was very good.

LG Optimus L9 360-degrees View:



21. Teknofilo

Posts: 4; Member since: Mar 04, 2013

I'd like to point out that the panorama function seems to use the camera mode, rather than the photograph mode, which results in panorama pictures having very small vertical resolution. We have included a sample in our review at Teknofilo.com blog and, while the article is in Spanish, you'll easily spot where the panorama picture is.

20. Charlie_boy

Posts: 71; Member since: Jan 04, 2013

It's uncanny that the international L9 specs are very similar to the Galaxy Nexus... I wonder how that came about...

18. shubham3mathur

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

For complete specification and review of LG plz visit techfactz.com

16. seadude

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 30, 2013

LG has been known for not supporting their software upgrade. You may get the latest android right now. But you are going to stuck with that android version for the rest of your smartphone life. Don't buy LG, you will regard it next year when everyone is using Android 5.0. I am a victom of the G2X, they promised to upgrade it when it was released 2 years ago. I now have a samsung s3 and the g2x still hasn't get that updated LG originally promised. In fact, LG don't even response to G2X update questions at all... LOL

17. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

I hear ya but im not super worried abt the software update. As long as it's nothing major im missing. If I keep this device for at least a year that will be good for me as I have been going through phones to fast. I haven't liked other things abt some lg's in the past but overall this one is good, & has overall good marks.

15. Landmarkcm

Posts: 507; Member since: Aug 11, 2009

This site seems to rate the camera quality on some good phones as a negative alot. Whereas phonescoop etc said this phone takes great pictures. Which it does! Wow I think it takes some of the clearest shots ive had. Its better then the 8mp on Lumia 822 I was using. So just goes to show mp count doesn't mean everything. Is Phonearena not focusing right or what...? lol. Anyway I thought I was fully converted to WP8 but im loving Android again with this device. Especially on Tmobiles no contract plan. This phone is awesome for 199!

22. MFortyNiner

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 20, 2013

This is an awesome phone and since it is no-contract, it was easy to use on Solavei where my cell service is now free. Compared to my previous ATT bill, that's over $1,200 in annual savings. Yeaaaah! Check it out at mobile49er dot com.

14. masterwoo

Posts: 1; Member since: Nov 17, 2012

Read more about LG Optimus L9 at indiapricepoint.com/electronics/price-of-lg-l9/

9. app_droid_soft

Posts: 42; Member since: Sep 09, 2012

which is better L7 vs s duos vs s3 mini?

11. thephonedude

Posts: 60; Member since: Oct 27, 2012

Eh S3 mini is better in terms of specs.. but if you want great design... the L7 is the one for you

19. shubham3mathur

Posts: 3; Member since: Mar 07, 2013

For more detail and specifications about S3 Mini or Optimus l9 and s duos plz visit at techfactz.com

7. djstammo

Posts: 16; Member since: Oct 01, 2012

And why no Gorilla Glass if L7 has?


Posts: 103; Member since: Aug 09, 2011

The international version has gorilla glass 2 not so sure about the T-mobile version but i suspect the only difference is the 0.2" of screen real estate between the 2

6. brandonrana

Posts: 57; Member since: Nov 04, 2012

That dog in the sample shot no. 6 is horrible

10. thephonedude

Posts: 60; Member since: Oct 27, 2012

still more handsome than you.

12. brandonrana

Posts: 57; Member since: Nov 04, 2012

Thanks for complementing yourself

3. thephonedude

Posts: 60; Member since: Oct 27, 2012

Finally a L Series Phone that is better than its other versions! GREAT L STYLED PHONE :) I am using L5

2. redmd

Posts: 1965; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

I don't see why those cons eat 2.5 of total score. it's a mid range phone did someone forget? I think it deserves at least 8. snappy performance alone could warrant that.

8. GTR722

Posts: 270; Member since: Oct 20, 2012

Remember this is PhoneArena, the S3 mini got a higher score than this phone....

1. smallworld

Posts: 530; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

The screen is 4.7".

4. redmd

Posts: 1965; Member since: Oct 26, 2011

4.7 for the international version. 4.5 for t mobile version.

5. smallworld

Posts: 530; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

Yeah I noticed after it was the T-Mobile version.
Optimus L9 T-Mobile
  • Display 4.5 inches
    960 x 540 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP (Single camera)
    0.3 MP VGA front
  • Hardware TI OMAP4430, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 4GB, microSDHC
  • Battery 2150 mAh
  • OS Android 4.1.2

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